With the help of students from Hennepin Technical College, a New Hope Park is undergoing a colorful makeover.
Gardens will soon rise on the northwest corner of Fred Sims park where an old house used to stand.
The city enlisted college students to come up with plans for the landscaping. What's more, they will also do the work as part of a landscaping class at Hennepin Technical College. Over the next few weeks, the students themselves will install the landscaping and plant the gardens.
For the students its part of their education. For the city for the city, it's a good deal.
"We get to work with the students, we get to see the energy and the enthusiasm for what they're going to school for," New Hope Parks and Recreation Director Susan Rader says. "They come up with great projects, great ideas, they provide the design, the labor, the tools, the equipment. We pay for the supplies."
The students were given some basic design guidelines based on the wishes of nearby residents and the needs of city staff. The majority of residents surveyed preferred either a mixture of short turf grasses and native plantings, or a natural landscape consisting of prairie grasses and plantings. City staff required landscaping that needed minimal maintenance and kept the sight lines at the street corner clear.
In June, the city council agreed on a design that includes native plantings surrounded by turf. The native areas include an assortment of prairie grasses, perennial flowers and plants, and bushes. The plants were chosen from the University of Minnesota's "bee squad plant list," which will attract bees and butterflies.
Weather permitting, you should see the work underway in the next several weeks.
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